Academics' Choice Brain Toy Award!

Virtuoso Bears have done yet again: the classical plushies have won a prestigious Brain Toy Award by the Academics' Choice Awards™. Academics' Choice Awards™ help parents and educators validate claims such as "critical thinking" and "educational toy" with a qualified, scientific and objective approach to evaluation. Academics' Choice Awards™ bring recognition to the best thinking-based products in the industry.

This is what the review team and Academic Advisory Board, consisting of leading thinkers and graduates from Princeton, Harvard, George Washington University, and other reputable educational institutions, had to say about the Virtuoso Bears:

With Virtuoso Bears, lots of soft skills were practiced including listening and responding to music, responsibility/caretaking for your bear, and social skills when sharing and playing with the bear.
The classical music definitely has a calming effect. The structure, melody, and rhythm tends to relax young children and even helps babies that have a hard time sleeping. The combination of a cuddly bear with calming classical music is simply brilliant. My 12 month old loves it. He definitely falls to sleep faster when embracing it. I love that his relaxed mental state - as a result of the music and comforting bear - may help increase his language development and other learning abilities.
I liked the music and the soft material the bear was made out of. The music is different than most toys kids have, so it was a nice change. I like that you can push the button to turn the music off - great design!

Do you get goosebumps when listening to music?

If you feel lump in a throat, feel moved or experience chills while hearing your favourite tunes it means that you are more in touch with your emotions than those who do not. The study run by University of California Phd student Matthew Sachs has shown that those with intense emotional response to music have structural differences in brain and possess “a higher volume of fibers that connects their auditory cortex to the areas associated with emotional processing, which means the two areas communicate better”.

The findings are to be further tested to better understand how depressive disorders can be treated with music. Since “depression causes an inability to experience pleasure of everyday things”, music therapy could help to “explore feelings”.

Love for music can lead to a mental wellbeing. Virtuoso Bears can help grow that love in babies from day one. 

"Larger tract volume from pSTG to aIns and mPFC in Chill responders: (A) Diffusion tractography showed increased tract volume between auditory perception regions in the STG and emotional and social processing regions in the aIns and mPFC. (B) Tract volume between the STG, aIns and mPFC was significantly larger in individuals who frequently experience chills in response to music compared to matched controls. **P < 0.01 uncorrected. ‡ P < 0.05 after Bonferroni correction. Error bars denote standard error."